|Sept. 11, 2000
8:00 AM ET.
Alert No. 17.
News from the Web
On the Hill
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Copyright 1998 - 2000 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights
9/8. The USPTO and the Copyright Office filed an amicus
brief in A&M Records v. Napster in which it argued that
"Section 1008 of the Audio Home Recording Act does not protect
Napster from the plaintiffs' claims of copyright infringement.
Section 1008 was adopted to address a very different phenomenon –
the noncommercial consumer use of digital audio recording devices,
such as DAT tape decks, to perform "home taping" of
musical recordings. Napster's effort to bring itself within the
ambit of Section 1008 flouts the terms of the statute and conflicts
with the basic policies of the Act."
Interactive (HI) and Microsoft
reached a settlement of HI's lawsuit against Microsoft and others.
Microsoft, as part of an anti-spam effort, blocked HI e-mail
messages reaching Microsoft's hotmail users. Microsoft agreed to
stop filtering HI e-mail. HI filed suit in U.S. District Court (WDNY)
on July 31 against Microsoft, AOL, Qwest and other e-mail service
providers alleging violation of antitrust law, defamation,
negligence, and other causes of action. All subscribed to the
Realtime Blackhole List, which is maintained by the Mail Abuse
Prevention System. MAPS is also a defendant in the suit. AOL settled
in August by agreeing to stop blocking HI e-mail. See, HI
9/8. FCC released an order
[47 pages, MS Word] in its SBC Ameritech antitrust merger review
proceeding (CC Docket No. 98-141). The FCC waived parts of its
order approving the merger to allow SBC to begin providing DSL
service through neighborhood broadband gateways deployed by it as
part of the its $6 Billion Project Pronto initiative. This order
waives the condition imposed upon SBC that requires an SBC separate
affiliate to own equipment used to provide advanced services.
story. See also, SBC
9/8. The House Commerce
Committee's Telecom Subcommittee postponed indefinitely
its meeting to mark up several bills, including
• H.R. 3011, the Truth in Telephone Billing Act of 1999.
• HR 3100, the Know Your Caller Act.
• HR 3850, the Independent Telecoms. Consumer Enhancement
Act of 2000.
• HR 2346, regarding regulation of citizens band radio
9/8. The Child Online
Protection Commission announced that it will hold a meeting in
Washington DC on Sept. 18 and 19. See, TLJ Calendar.
9/7. FCC Commissioner Gloria
Tristani gave a speech
in Washington DC to the LCCR
titled "Civil Rights in the Digital World." Quote:
"The civil rights and policy debate in the digital era is about
... answering the following questions. ... And one final question,
should the universal access to the telephone of the past century be
extended to the technology of the digital century?" See also, TLJ
Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Rep. Bob
Goodlatte (R-VA) sent a letter
to FCC Chairman Wm. Kennard
and FTC Chairman Rbt.
Pitofsky requesting that the FCC institute a formal rule making
proceeding on open access, but that neither the FTC or FCC impose
any open access conditions in their AOL Time Warner merger
proceedings. See, TLJ
9/7. Real Networks and Streambox settled their
lawsuit. Real filed suit in Dec. 1999 in U.S. District Court (WDWa)
alleging that Streambox products violated the DMCA. The
companies issued releases which both stated: "Streambox agreed
that it will modify its Streambox Ripper product so that it no
longer transcodes RealMedia streams into other formats, and that it
will modify its Streambox VCR product so that it respects the copy
protection feature in RealSystem. RealNetworks will provide
Streambox with a license to the RealSystem Software Development Kit,
which Streambox can use to create future versions of Streambox
products that will respect RealNetworks' copy protection technology.
As part of the settlement, Streambox also agreed to stop
distributing the Streambox Ferret program, which altered the search
functionality on RealNetworks' RealPlayer, and to pay RealNetworks
an undisclosed sum of money. The parties did not release further
details of the confidential settlement agreement." See, Real
Editor's Note: This column includes all News Briefs added to
Tech Law Journal since the last Daily E-Mail Alert. The dates
indicate when the event occurred, not the date of posting to Tech
|New TLJ Stories
Regulators Give SBC Permission to Build DSL Facilities.
(9/11) The FCC released a second order in its SBC Ameritech merger
review proceeding. This order modifies the condition imposed upon
SBC in its first order that a separate affiliate must own equipment
used to provide advanced services. This new order means that SBC can
provide DSL service through neighborhood broadband gateways to be
deployed as part of its $6 Billion Project Pronto.
and Boucher Request FCC Rule Making on Open Access, Oppose
Conditions on AOL TW Merger. (9/11) Two of the House of
Representatives leading Internet proponents, Reps. Boucher and
Goodlatte, wrote a letter to the FCC and FTC on September 7
requesting that the FCC institute a formal rule making proceeding to
promulgate open access rules that apply to all technologies and
companies, but that neither the FTC nor the FCC impose any open
access conditions in their AOL Time Warner merger reviews.
Should There Be Universal Service for the Internet? (9/11/)
FCC Commissioner Tristani gave a speech in Washington DC on
September 7 in which she advocated redressing various digital
divides. She concluded by asking whether universal service should
cover the Internet.
Court Denies Motion to Dismiss in Internet Wine Sales Case.
(9/8) A federal court issued a decision denying defendants' motion
dismiss in Swedenburg v. Kelly, a constitutional challenge to New
York State's statute restricting direct sales of alcoholic
beverages. Judge Berman wrote that the 21st Amendment will not
sustain a statute that is mere economic protectionism.
Liquor Laws Barring Internet Wine Sales Held to Violate Commerce
Clause. (9/8) A federal court decision on September 5 in
Swedenburg v. Kelly was part of a year long string of decisions that
have gone against states which maintain laws that seek to protect in
state liquor distributors from outside competitors, including small
Internet wineries which sell over the Internet, or by direct mail
USPTO & USCO: Amicus
Curiae Brief, in Napster v. A&M Records, 9/8 (PDF, LOC).
Judge Berman: Decision
and Order, in Swedenburg v. Kelly, re Internet alcohol
sales, 9/5 (75 KB HTML file in TLJ web site).
Comm'n Tristani: Speech
titled Civil Rights in the Digital World, 9/7 (HTML, TLJ).
Reps. Goodlatte and Boucher: Letter
to FCC and FTC re open access, 9/7 (HTML, TLJ).
Memorandum Opinion and Order, in SBC Ameritech merger
proceeding, granting SBC permission to build DSL facilities, 9/8 (47
pages in MS Word, FCC).
|New and Updated Sections
v. Kelly case summary (updated).
from Around the Web (updated daily).